Obtaining a college education is stressful enough without having to worry about the financial burdens of paying for the school. The reality is paying for an education at a school such as Universal Technical Institute is a struggle for most individuals. Over the years students have been misled by private for-profit institutions making fraudulent claims to encourage borrowers to take out student loans to fund their education.
If you believe that you were defrauded or misled by the institution to use student loans to pay for your education, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness.
If you are a student or parent struggling to pay student loan debt, we are experienced professionals that can provide you with many repayment strategy options to pay off your debt quickly.
About Universal Technical Institute
Universal Technical Institute is a school headquartered in Arizona and founded in 1965, that offers technical education training. The vocational programs offered by UTI include the following:
- Automotive repair
- Diesel repair
- Motorcycle repair
- Marine repair
- Collision repair
UTI currently has 13 locations throughout Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida, and Washington. The location in Norwood, Massachusetts stopped receiving enrollments as of March of 2019 and will be closing in the fall of 2020. This school has reached its peak number of enrollments in 2010 when the enrollment slowly began to decline.
Options for paying student loans
Students are not the only ones that are struggling with the repayment of student loans. If you are like many parents, wanting the best for your children, you may be struggling to pay back parent-plus student loans. Most parents that fund their child’s education with a parent-plus student loan, are on fixed incomes or don’t make enough to cover the cost of tuition at these schools. The result ends up with a student loan default or a student loan in collections.
Even if your student loans are in default or you have student loans that are in collections, many repayment options are available to you. To find out the type of options that are available to you, you can contact our office and have one of our network of experienced debt specialists help you determine the best option for you.
Universal Technical Institute Complaints
Universal Technical Institute has been under the spotlight for the following:
- Recruiting practices- this school has received complaints that recruiters are providing students with misleading information regarding, cost of attendance, tuition policies, and employment prospects.
- Violating the incentive compensation rules- recruiters are being paid based on the number of students they enroll in the school.
- Inadequate student support services
- Subpar instructional quality- failing students are given passing grades because the training is for entry-level positions and the students are paying for a certificate.
- Accusations of not providing quality education
The complaints against Universal Technical Institute come from students, former students, faculty members, and former faculty members. Universal Technical Institute and a host of other for-profit schools receive revenue from federal student aid, therefore these schools tend to focus on enrolling as many students as possible with little to no focus on the success of the students.
UTI Loan Forgiveness
To combat fraudulent practices committed by schools such as Universal Technical Institute, federal student loan borrowers are encouraged to apply for the Borrowers Defense to Loan Repayment program. If you are filing a petition under this program, your application needs to be thorough, detailed, and provide specific information regarding the deceitful actions that the school has specifically performed against you.
The following information is needed when you fill out the application for the Borrowers Defense to Loan Repayment program:
- Enrollment information which includes when you were enrolled, the program you were enrolled in, and registration documents received from the school.
- Official correspondence that you have received from the school, which includes emails, letters, promotional material, and curriculum and college guides.
- A legitimate and detailed claim regarding illegal activity committed against you.
If you feel that you are entitled to student loan forgiveness under the Borrowers Defense to Loan Repayment program and you have questions or need assistance, feel free to contact our office and speak with one of our debt specialists that can help you.
Another strategy for student loan forgiveness that you may qualify for is the Closed School Loan Discharge. Eligibility for this program is very straight forward. Here are the requirements for this discharge option:
- You were unable to complete the program that you were enrolled in because the school closed. Keep in mind that if you attend a school that has several locations, you must have been attending a location that closed. If you were enrolled in an online program, the headquarters of the school would need to be closed.
- If you complete all the coursework before the school closed and did not receive a diploma or degree, you are ineligible.
- You either need to be currently enrolled or you withdrew no more than 120 days before the closing of the school.
The Department of Education has a list of closed schools to verify if your school is on the list. In some cases, you may receive Automatic Closed School Discharges, which means you would not need to fill out an application for the Closed School Loan Discharge. If your school closed after November 1, 2013, and did not enroll at another school within 3 years of the date the prior school closed, the discharge will be applied automatically.
If you choose to file before the 3 years for the Closed School Loan Discharge, you should send the application with supporting documents via certified mail to your loan holder. Information that should accompany the application includes:
- Proof you were enrolled before the school closing, such as enrollment agreement.
- School closure date and evidence of school closure date.
Note: The Automatic Closed School Discharge has been eliminated as of September of 2019 and will go into effect July 1, 2020. The automatic discharge will apply to schools that closed between November 1, 2013, and before July 1, 2020.
You can also earn forgiveness through the public service loan forgiveness program.
The Department of Education receives thousands of borrower defense applications every year. It can take unexpectedly long to determine your case. In that period, you are obligated to pay off your loans until a determination is made, failure to which you will incur a higher interest or penalties.
If you are alarmed by how fast your student loan is growing, you can try the Public Service Loan forgiveness program by volunteering in non-profit organizations, serving in the military or medical practice.
In the PSLF program, you can only get part or the whole of your loan forgiven by making the first 120 payments. That means that you are not eligible if you haven’t started paying it off. You are required to make these first payments while working for a legitimate employer, no-profit organization, or government agency.
Act now, before it’s too late
There have been talks about eliminating the BDAR program. However, if your application is submitted before the program is eliminated, you will be grandfathered in to receive forgiveness under this program. If you wait too long to act, it could be too late and you could lose out on an opportunity to have your loans from Walden University forgiven.
Oftentimes, students are unaware of the additional options that are available to them to eliminate student loan debt. Many programs offer forgiveness for student loans, and some of these programs allow defaulted student loans to receive forgiveness.
If you need help determining the best strategy to take to handle your student loans, contact our office and speak with one of our specialists, who can assist you.